What is there besides the normal races? Just basic split-screen multiplayer races and a few multiplayer minigames for up to four players. These minigames include such gems as monster truck soccer, which is precisely what it sounds like, and monster combat, which has you driving around, trying to launch as many flaming barrels at other drivers as possible. But even with their wacky nature, there's just nothing interesting or engaging about these games. Driving the trucks is still just as boring in the minigames as it is in the races, so these games aren't useful for more than just a menial distraction.
Monster 4x4 used to be a budget game, and nowhere is that more apparent than in its presentation. The graphics look about on par with a PS2 game from a couple of years ago, just with a steadier frame rate. The trucks are blandly designed, the various destruction effects look cheap, and the environments are just a muddled mess. Apart from ugly textures, it's just impossible to tell where you are or what's going on half the time. All the tracks are supposed to be set in various historical locales, like the Egyptian pyramids, Mount Rushmore, and such, but apart from very occasional glances at something like the Sphinx, you might as well be racing through some anonymous dirt track somewhere outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. The game does occasionally feature some nice lighting effects, but that's the extent of its graphical pluses. There's not even much of a sense of speed on display here. You constantly feel as though your truck is chugging along at a snail's pace, and the boost effect just adds a bunch of cheesy motion blur. There's not much audio beyond the revving of overly grimy-sounding truck engines and an insane amount of wailing guitar solos--enough to where you'll question your love of electric guitar by the time you're done playing.
So, to recap: Monster trucks are awesome, but Monster 4x4: World Circuit is not. The racing is bland, the destruction is minimal, the excitement is nonexistent, the presentation is poor, the content is lacking, and last, but certainly not least, Ubisoft is now charging $50 for what was a budget game less than a year ago. There's no excuse to charge full price for a driving game this hollow and boring, and there's no reason for you to bother playing it.
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